The traditions that indicate his knowledge
Comprised of six traditions
722. `Iqd al-durar1: From al-Ḥārith b. al-Mughaira al-Naḍrī [al-Naṣrī] who said:
I asked (Imam) Abū `Abd-Allah al-Ḥusayn b. `Alī, peace be on him, “(What are the attributes) of Imam al-Mahdī that he can be recognized with?” He replied, “Serenity and dignity.” I asked, “What else?” He said, “[He will] gave [complete] knowledge about the permissible (ḥalāl) and the prohibited (ḥarām) and the people will need him but he will not need anyone.”
723. Kamāl al-dīn2: `Alī b. Aḥmad b. Mūsā, may Allah be satisfied with him, from Muḥammad b. Abī `Abd-Allah al-Kūfī, from Muḥammad b. Ismā`īl al-Barmakī, from Ismā`īl b. Mālik, from Muḥammad b. Sinān, from `Amr b. Shimr, from Jābir, from (Imam) Abū Ja`far, peace be on him, who said:
The knowledge of the Book of Allah, Mighty and Majestic be He, and the sunna of His Prophet, Allah’s blessings be on him and his family, will grow in the heart of our Mahdī like the finest things that a crop can grow. Whoever amongst you survives to see him must say when he sees him, “Peace be on you, O People of the House of Mercy and prophethood and the source of knowledge and the position of Messenger-ship.”
724. Ghaybat al-Nu`mānī3: `Alī b. Aḥmad, from `Ubaid-Allah b. Mūsā al-`Alawī, from Abū Muḥammad Mūsā b. Hārūn b. `Īsā al-Ma`badī, from `Abd-Allah b. Muslimat b. Qa`nab, from Sulaimān b. Bilāl, from (Imam) Ja`far b. Muḥammad, peace be on him, from his father, from his grandfather, from (Imam) al-Ḥusayn b. `Alī, peace be on them all, who said:
A man came to Amīr al-Mu’minīn, peace be on him, and said, “O Amīr al-Mu’minīn! Inform us about your Mahdī?” He replied, “When the things that must pass away, pass away; the believers become rare, and the troublemakers perish, it is then, it is then.” The man asked, “Which [tribe] does this man belong to?”
He replied, “He is a Hashemite, the most exalted of the Arabs, a sea to which all waters pour into, a sanctuary for those who seek refuge, and the pure source when others become murky. He doesn’t cower when death attacks, doesn’t weaken when death shows its face, and doesn’t recede in the clashes in which the heroes fall. He is a skilled winner, a defeater, a lion, reaper [of the enemies], and fearless. He is a sword from the swords of Allah. He is a chief who possesses all goodness, is from a great glorious family, and whose glory originates from the best of roots. Let none of those who hasten towards mischief, speak the evilest of words, and hide their corruptions inside them when keeping silent, prevent you from pledging allegiance to him.”
He then returned to describing the attributes of the Mahdī, peace be on him, and said, “He is the most generous in giving refuge, the most knowledgeable, and the kindest of you to his kin. O Allah! Make his advent an end to sorrows and unite the umma by him. If Allah chooses goodness for you, be determined and do not deviate from [the Mahdī] if you have success in reaching him and don not turn away from him if you are guided to him.” Then, [Amīr al-Mu’minīn, peace be on him] sighed and pointed at his chest with his hand and expressed his eagerness to see him.
725. Sunan al-Dānī4: Ibn Shaudhab said: “He is called the Mahdī (the guided one) because he will guide to a mountain from the mountains of Syria and will bring out of it the Scrolls of the Torah (asfār al-turāt) and argue by them against the Jews; consequently, a group of Jews will accept Islam at his hands.”
The following traditions endorse the above concept: 726 and 1182.
- 1. `Iqd al-durar, chap. 3, p. 41.
I say: Abū `Abd-Allah—the person from whom the tradition has been narrated—is Imam Abū `Abd-Allah Ja`far b. Muḥammad al-Ṣādiq, peace be on him, and not our master Imam Abū `Abd-Allah al-Ḥusayn, the grandson of the Prophet and the chief of the youth of Paradise. This error has been repeated in numerous places in the book `Iqd al-durar. I do not know whether this error has been introduced by the author, already existed in the source from which he had recorded the narrations from, or made by the copyists.
(The narrator,) al-Ḥārith b. al-Mughaira al-Naṣrī, is related to [the tribe of] Banī-Naṣr, as has been recorded in Mu`jam rijāl al-ḥadīth by al-Kashī. He has narrated from Imam Abū Ja`far Muḥammad al-Bāqir, his son Imam Ja`far b. Muḥammad, his son Imam Mūsā b. Ja`far, and Zaid the martyr, peace be on them all. It is written in Lisān al-mīzān, vol. 2, p. 160: “Al-Ḥārith b. al-Mughaira al-Naḍrī or al-Baṣrī. He has narrated from al-Bāqir, his brother Zaid b. `Alī, and Ja`far b. Muḥammad, may Allah be satisfied with him. Al-Ṭūsī and ibn al-Najāshī have mentioned him as one of the reliable Shia narrators. `Alī b. al-Ḥakam has said, ‘He was the most pious (aura`) of men.’ Tha`labat b. Maimūn, Hishām b. Sālim, Ja`far b. Bashīr, and others have narrated from him.’”
- 2. Kamāl al-dīn, vol. 2, chap. 57, p. 653, no. 18; Ḥilyat al-abrār, vol. 2, chap. 15, p. 557, and chap. 42, p. 639; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 52, chap. 27, pp. 317–318, no. 16.
- 3. Ghaybat al-Nu`mānī, chap. 3, pp. 212214, no. 1.
- 4. `Iqd al-durar, chap. 3, pp. 40–41; al-Burhān, chap. 8, p. 157, no. 7; Is`āf al-rāghibīn, chap. 2, p. 139, which says: “It has been mentioned in some traditions, ‘. . . surely the Mahdī, peace be on him, will bring out the Ark of the Covenant (tābūt al-sakīna) from the cave of Antioch (Anṭākiya) and the Scrolls of the Torah (asfār al-turāt) from a mountain in Syria—by which he will argue with the Jews. Consequently, many of them will accept Islam.’”
I say: The biography of ibn Shaudhab has been mentioned in Tahdhīb al-tahdhīb and his full name is `Abd-Allah b. Shaudhab al-Khurāsānī. We have mentioned what he has said amongst these hadiths on the basis that people like him do not express their own views about these events which are not known to anybody except those who has been given knowledge by Allah, the Exalted; except something that reached them from the Messenger of Allah, Allah's blessings be on him and his family. Nevertheless, when similar things are narrated by him from Ka`b al-Aḥbār—whose condition is well-known—it is probable that he was the source of what ibn Shaudhab and his ilk have narrated, without relying on the hadiths of the Messenger of Allah, Allah’s blessings be on him and his family, and hence, one cannot rely on those traditions.